Athletes work hard to win, and shape every part of their lifestyle to get the edge over the competition. This includes various aspects of their life such as their diet, exercise plan, and their sleep routine. Just as athletes need more calories when in training, they also need more sleep. This is no different for our Healthy Sleep Campaign supporter, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who is getting ready for Rio this year:
“Sleep is really important to my training – if I haven’t had enough sleep, it adversely affects my training. I can feel lethargic, my concentration wavers and I don’t get the best out of my session.”
Katarina’s preparation for the Olympics revolves around her extensive training sessions, as she pushes herself for the Gold this year.
“I particularly enjoy the sprint, technical and high jump sessions. The endurance and hill sessions are definitely ones that I don’t get so enthused about but I know their importance. After these sessions, I’m usually exhausted and all I want to do is lie down!”
This extensive exercise regime depletes energy, fluids, and breaks down muscle. Hydration and diet are obviously a part of training and recovery, but what athletes do after training and competition also determines how quickly their bodies rebuild muscle and replenish nutrients. The right amount of rest and recovery helps maintain endurance, speed, and accuracy, essential for an Olympic athlete.
A study in the journal SLEEP confirms the role of sleep in performance, with results that show declines in split-second decision-making following poor sleep, as well as increased accuracy in well-rested subjects.